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MTA 2015 to tackle 3D printing, robotics & manufacturing automation

15th April 2015
Barney Scott

Faced with challenges from rising costs, growing competition and the need to raise productivity, manufacturers have begun assuming greater technological leadership, especially in converging high-end manufacturing equipment with next-generation ICT. These technological advances in automation, robotics and 3D printing are on show at MTA2015 - The Precision Engineering Industry Event.

More than being a premier sourcing and networking ground for manufacturers in the region, MTA has evolved over the years to support companies in their progression along the value chain. Now one of the most established events for the manufacturing industry in Asia, MTA provides a platform where global and regional players congregate to seek business opportunities, network and expand their knowledge bank.

Running from 14th to 17th April at the Singapore Expo, visitors to MTA2015 will get to interact with 350 companies from 27 countries and regions. These companies bring some of the world's most progressive precision engineering and machine tool technologies that are available in today's marketplace.

"At one-fifth of Singapore's GDP and employing half a million people, our manufacturing sector is re-structuring. It is heading towards high value-added engineering production. A number of our firms enjoy technology and market leadership in sub-sectors such as semiconductor equipment, diagnostic tools, biologics, hard disk drive media and offshore oil and gas platforms. Building on these achievements, we aspire to become an advanced manufacturing hub of tomorrow," said Mr. Lee Yi Shyan, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of National Development, and Guest-of-Honour at the MTA2015 opening ceremony held this morning at the event. Mr. Lee also stressed that "manufacturing firms need to stay ahead of competition by aggressive adoption of the latest technologies, including additive manufacturing and robotics."

Additive Manufacturing technologies, commonly known as 3D printing, have advanced to a stage whereby materials such as metal can be used to print parts for industrial use. The production process has also further streamlined with the aid of technology. Now, large parts such as pipes or propellers can be manufactured at one go instead of going through several processes commonly utilised if the part was manufactured conventionally.

A strong fleet of companies such as Creatz3D, DKSH Technology, EOS, Eye-2-Eye Communications and FreeForm Solution, will show the latest machine and software capabilities in 3D printing. They include 3D Systems, Arcom AB, Envisiontec , Renishaw and Stratasys. The Additive Manufacturing Innovation Centre (AMIC) at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) and the Singapore Centre for 3D Printing at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), are showing a 3D printed tilted rotor aircraft model and a 3D printed concept car respectively. 3D printing technology tours are available for visitors to catch 3D capabilities in action through live demonstrations on the show floor.

Faced with the need to operate sustainably, manufacturers have looked to investing in robots and automation solutions to raise productivity and enhance workflow. Global players such as ABB, Epson and Yaskawa are displaying robots developed to streamline manual labour processes, as well as industrial automation solutions that will improve efficiencies.

In collaboration with the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), MTA2015 presents 26 local parts and components manufacturers at this Capabilities Hub, which is created to meet the sourcing needs of high-value sectors of Aerospace, Complex Equipment, Medical Technology and Oil & Gas. Participants include MTA stalwarts such as A&ONE Precision Engineering, ACP Metal Finishing, CEI Contract Manufacturing, Eratech, Fujicon Engineering, Meiban Group, Microcast, Nanotechnology Manufacturing, Onn Wah Precision Machining, PCI, Shine Precision Engineering, SolidMicron Technologies and ST Kinetics Integrated Engineering.

As manufacturing processes become more complex and sophisticated, highly detailed and precise measurements are often required. At MetrologyAsia2015, held alongside MTA2015, top metrology brands from around the world, such as Faro, Hexagon Metrology, Jenoptik, Mitutoyo, Nikon, Olympus, Optical Gaging, Renishaw and Wenzel, are on board to demonstrate cutting edge testing, measurement, and inspection applications and systems specially catered for the manufacturing sector.

Through strong support of international and local industry trade associations, visitors to this year's event will see home-grown technologies and services from international groups from Germany, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.

"With technological advances in 3D printing and IoT, the manufacturing landscape in Singapore and the Asian region is primed for long term growth. The evolution of technology is opening up new possibilities for manufacturers, enabling them to customise their production to meet specific demands, fine-tune manufacturing processes to bring labour efficiencies and cost savings. MTA this year has dovetailed these advanced manufacturing technologies and solutions, to help companies remain sustainable and stay ahead of competition", said Ms. Lindy Wee, Chief Executive, Singapore Exhibition Services, and organiser of MTA2015.

Industry 4.0 and the integration of IoT and automation into manufacturing processes will be discussed at the Future Factories and Manufacturing Asia Conference. Featuring an exciting line up of speakers from local and regional organisations such as the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), the Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA), the Board of Investment, Thailand, Frost & Sullivan, Rolls Royce and Siemens, delegates will gain a deeper understanding on the impact of Industrie 4.0 and advanced manufacturing.

Into its third edition, the International Conference on Optical and Photonic Engineering (icOPEN) organised by the Optics and Photonics Society of Singapore (OPSS) highlights the latest technologies and industry milestones relevant to optical and photonic engineering. The Precision Engineering Centre of Innovation (PE COI) Annual Conference, jointly organised with SIMTech, brings to light new developments surrounding the precision engineering industry, including current business opportunities and challenges precision engineering companies face in today's challenging, competitive manufacturing landscape.

Commenting on the relevance of the event, Mr. Lee said that MTA2015 is an "up-to-date exhibition". With the introduction of the Future Factories and Manufacturing Asia conference, he noted that, "Such forward-looking vision is important for businesses in Singapore as we are always looking out for new technologies to embrace."

"Manufacturers are operating in a more challenging environment and it is of utmost importance for them to keep up-to-date with the trends and issues that are impacting the industry. Through these conferences, MTA helps industry professionals stay relevant through the exchange of ideas and experience with industry thought leaders, technical experts and business peers," added Ms. Wee.

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